The plays stretch from northwest of Oklahoma City to near the Texas border.

Unit Petroleum Corp., the E&P unit of Unit Corp., stepped up in May with an acronym of its own for an Oklahoma oil play—SoHot, representing “southern Oklahoma Hoxbar oil trend.” The company plans 13 wells this year in the play, in Grady County southwest of Oklahoma City.

“The SoHot has six stacked sands,” reports securities analyst Marc Bianchi with Cowen & Co. “Thus far, Unit has drilled and completed horizontals in two of the zones, identifying an oily zone—Marchand—and a gassy zone—Medrano.”

The Hoxbar is a roughly 2,000-foot-thick, Pennsylvanian-age sequence of sand and shale intervals, according to Unit, which estimates it to contain four to six sand intervals that may be commercial. The oily Marchand sandstone is at about 11,000 feet; the gassy Medrano sandstone, 9,800 feet.

With a 4,300-foot lateral, the Marchand wells cost some $7 million and may produce 300,000 to 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE)—85% to 90% oil—Unit reports. With a similar lateral, the Medrano wells cost some $4.2 million and may produce 3.0- to 4.5 billion cubic feet of gas equivalent, 30% liquids.

In the southwestern Grady County area, Unit has 12,810 net acres across 50,560 gross. With an $82-million budget for it this year—increased some 50% in May—it expects to have three rigs drilling it in the second half.

Bianchi reports that the position may offer 175 to 200 SoHot well locations with most of these targeting the gassy Medrano. Unit’s funding of the SoHot program and an uptick in Granite Wash drilling in western Oklahoma will be from a reduction in Mississippian Lime drilling “where results have been inconsistent,” he reports.


Also targeting Grady County, Continental Resources Inc. revealed its Scoop play in 2012, creating the acronym for it from “south-central Oklahoma oil province.” The play, south of Oklahoma City and reaching toward the Texas border, is concentrated in the oil window of the Devonian-age Woodford shale, where the formation is up to 400 feet thick at about 15,000 feet. It is focused largely in Grady, McClain, Garvin, Stephens and Carter counties, and Continental counts some 450 wells now by it and other operators, delineating the play. Continental has some 425,000 net acres.


Following on Continental’s Scoop, Newfield Exploration Co. announced its Stack play last fall, naming it for “Sooner Trend, Anadarko (Basin), Canadian (and) Kingfisher (counties).” The play, which is northwest of Oklahoma City, targets the Woodford as well as Mississippian-age shales.

The Sooner Trend Field has produced nearly 500 million barrels of oil since its discovery in 1945. Newfield pioneered the dry-gas Woodford-shale play in 2003 in the western Arkoma Basin, east of its current, liquids-rich Woodford play in the Anadarko Basin. It has more than 170,000 net acres prospective for Woodford in its Stack play and more than 150,000 net prospective for the overlying Meramec. It also has some 75,000 net acres in the Scoop play.


Midstream operator Oneok Partners LP reported this week that it is building a 200-million-cubic-foot-per-day gas-processing plant in the midst of the Scoop play to monetize associated gas from the oil production.

Oklahoma’s monthly oil output has grown from 5.7 million barrels in April 2010 to 10.5 million this past April, according to Energy Information Administration data. The rate was last exceeded in January 1989. The state’s production reached 14.5 million barrels in January 1986, according to EIA data beginning in January 1981.

Unit Corp. has employed another acronym in its operations: Rig-operator subsidiary Unit Drilling Co.’s new-build rig has been dubbed Boss for “box on (box) self stacking.” Its first Boss is at work and three more, which are each also contracted, are being constructed.

–Nissa Darbonne, Author, The American Shales; Editor-at-Large, Oil and Gas Investor,, Oil and Gas Investor This Week, A&D Watch,, Contact Nissa at